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Small Business Saturday Especially Important During Pandemic

Sales Associate Carlos Lopez looks over new skateboards at OB Surf & Skate on...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: Sales Associate Carlos Lopez looks over new skateboards at OB Surf & Skate on Nov. 27, 2020.

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28, and if you’re looking for a place with a lot of small businesses, all bunched together, Ocean Beach's Newport Avenue fits the bill.

Ocean Beach Surf and Skate has been a fixture here for years.

Listen to this story by John Carroll.

In fact, buying a surf or skateboard from here takes the “local” thing one step further.

“It’s all locally made. Our shop owner tries to steer away from any kind of commercial brands just because we’re here to support the community,” said sales associate Carlos Lopez.

But it’s not just you giving them your money, it’s what small businesses are able to give to you.

“We offer what those big businesses can’t which is in-person expertise,” Lopez said.

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It seems that message is getting through, at least in the Golden State.

Data from a Union Bank survey shows 7 in 10 Californians think it’s more important to support small business than to get the best deal. And 53% said they’ve already increased how much they spend at small retailers to keep them in business during the pandemic.

Just up the street from OB Surf and Skate is Synergy 180, a yoga and fitness studio that’s very much in support of Small Business Saturday, especially during this difficult time.

Once San Diego County moved into the purple, most restrictive tier of health measures, Synergy 180 moved classes onto its roof.

Video by Roland Lizarondo

Synergy coach Kalyn Harris said, “I think it’s really important right now with everything shut down that we support those small businesses.”

When it comes to gyms and fitness studios, Harris told KPBS that Synergy 180 is lucky to have usable roof space.

But the fact they’re able to stay open doesn’t mean they will if they don’t get community support.

Harris said things are going OK for now; Synergy hasn’t had to lay anyone off.

And she said their clients appreciate what a small business like Synergy can offer.

“Just that one-on-one aspect that you don’t get when you work with big corporations and we can just really come together as a community,” Harris said.

But whether it’s OB, or anywhere else in San Diego County, small businesses are counting on all of us to help them, especially during this pandemic, and not just on Small Business Saturday, but on every day.

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John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

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